Rain Taxi Review of “Cartographies”
PIERRE JORISCartographies of the In-Betweenedited by Peter Cockelberghby Megan Burns
“There is no difference between inside and outside at the poem’s warp speed.”
—Pierre Joris, Notes Toward a Nomadic Poetics
Cartographies of the In-Between collates a number of essays by various writers about Pierre Joris and his life as a translator, poet, and manifestor of “Nomad Poetics”; it’s a collection that should prompt a studious return to Joris’s own invaluable contributions to poetic discourse. Editor Peter Cockelbergh had previously drawn a line between two of these works in a 2010 essay for Jacket, in which he points out that A Nomad Poetics introduces the poetic concerns of Joris and that Justifying the Margins fleshes out these concerns more fully (a newer version of this essay appears in Section V of Cartographies). Continuing in that vein, I would argue that not only are these two collections of essays germane to an understanding of Joris’s poetry, translation, and thinking about poetry, but that Cartographies triangulates these two collections, opening up the conversation to many voices. In order to understand Joris’s work and his inclusive approach to poetry, it would stand to reason that a full appreciation of his work would include a reading through his work by others, as well as an enmeshed reading and dialogue with his own words and excavations.